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This time from Friedrich von der Marwitz’s Lebensbeschreibung.

Marwitz-1

Von der Marwitz tells us that whilst travelling Frederick the Great liked to stay with local preachers, mainly because there was a bit less fuss than staying in the towns themselves. For this he always paid 50 Thalers for a midday stop and 100 Thalers for an overnight stay, plus expenses. A reasonable sum.

Apparently his long-time trusty coachman Pfund (you can still see him driving the chariot on top of the Kutschpferdestall in Potsdam) used this as an excuse to extort 10 Thalers from the relevant preachers beforehand, as a guarantee that the King would indeed stop with them.

Unfortunately in 1782 or 1783, as the young von der Marwitz met the king, the recently installed preacher in Dolgelin was unaware of this practice and failed to cough up, so Pfund thrashed the horses so as to get to the nearby town of Müncheberg where he could collect.

I wonder if Fritz knew…

Interestingly this story doesn’t tie in with the dates of Pfund’s service given in Wikipedia, which state that he retired in 1776. A mistake in von der Marwitz’s recollection or with Wikipedia’s sources?

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